ADAMS — A restaurant and bar that had been closed for the past year has reopened its doors.
The Adams Ale House, at 8-10 E. Hoosac St., has reopened under new ownership with a full bar, new menu and a chef who is bringing creativity to home style comfort food.
The Ale House is in the former home of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Society, which, since 1912, was the setting for community events, weddings and other celebrations, and at one point, a bowling alley.
Previous owners opened Adams Ale House in 2013, said co-owner and on-site manager Robert Williams. It closed roughly a year ago.
Meanwhile, Bill and Jennifer Lander, 18-year owners of the machine shop operation Lander Inc. in Pittsfield, were seeking a space to open a game room, according to Jennifer Lander.
The game room would feature the cornhole game, a line of which is a specialty of Landers Inc., in an effort to give young teens and other youngsters a place to go and have fun.
In the course of looking at different possibilities, they wound up getting a tour through the Ale House. They discovered that everything one might need to operate a restaurant and bar was included in the lease price along with the recently renovated restaurant space.
So the Landers enlisted Williams' help; he has restaurant experience and is a longtime employee of Lander Inc.
Jennifer Lander said their business is customer-focused, as is their new restaurant.
"We bring our own business knowledge and focus on customer service to the operation," she said.
The Adams Ale House reopened in June with little fanfare and only the bar service.
"We opened the door and took things very slowly," Lander said. "At the end of June, we slowly rolled out dinner. Then we slowly rolled out lunch. Next up is live entertainment and bingo. We've come a long way in a few weeks."
Chef Renee Yanke is bringing her varied experience to the new restaurant menu. As dinner and lunch were rolled out, Yanke devised a menu, through some trial and error, that is based on classic comfort food but with new flare and a focus on farm-fresh ingredients.
"Classic and inventive" is how she described it.
The menu also keeps the prices reasonable.
"Everything that is on the menu I love and I eat," she said. "And I just love to share that with people."
As time goes on, Yanke expects there will be some adjustments to the menu, including more dinner specials.
Williams noted that although the bowling alleys are still there, the bowling apparatus has been removed. So they are in the process of re-finishing the floor, using the old alleys in the new flooring for nostalgia. Once the flooring is done, they will install cornhole games, pool tables and darts. The work should take several weeks.
According to Lander, a phase two will be the renovation and reopening of the upstairs banquet facility, but that will entail much more in-depth work. Once finished, there is also a kitchen and bar upstairs, so hosting anniversaries, wedding receptions and retirements will again be in the offing.
The bar features 22 beers on tap, most of them craft beers. The restaurant seats about 150.
"We wanted to create a safe spot for someone to come in with their family to have a meal and a cold drink, where the kids can go play the games while waiting for dinner," Williams said. "We've already had folks come in and talk about how they used to come here as a child, some whose parents got married here. We'd like to recapture some of that history."
Scott Stafford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-629-4517.